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DeSoto ISD will continue its mask policy for staff and students

DeSoto ISD said this week that it will continue to encourage its students and staff to wear face masks beyond Wednesday, when the statewide mask mandate will end.

Gov. Greg Abbott said this week that it was time to relax COVID-19 restrictions and allow Texas businesses to open at 100% capacity.

But individual school boards can decide whether students are required to wear masks on campuses, according to new guidance the Texas Education Agency released Wednesday.

Schools have required face coverings since the start of the school year, in line with Abbott’s previous mandate and federal health guidelines.

As the pandemic has progressed, DeSoto ISD officials have remained in communication with health experts and area officials and said they will continue to monitor the situation and communicate updates as necessary.

“The safety of our students, staff and families will always be top priority,” the district said in a news release. “DeSoto ISD is currently assessing and evaluating how this will affect the district’s safety and health protocols. Until then, we ask that students and staff continue to follow our current practices.”

Also this week, a federal directive prioritized K-12 employees and child care workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said the county doesn’t have enough vaccine — or enough guidance from state officials — to make a significant push to vaccinate educators.

The county already had backlog of 750,000 people on waiting lists for the shots, and about 50,000 educators and employees in Dallas County are now also eligible to sign up, he said.

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